On 23 May 2014, the French Council of State declared itself incompetent with regard to the government’s decision to bar Syrian consulates in France from holding elections on their premises. Damascus has set the presidential election for June 3, with expatriate voting to take place on May 28. [1].

19 Syrian nationals filed a complaint with the administrative court to enforce their right to vote [2]. According to their lawyer, Damien Viguier, the French ban blatantly contravenes the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and deprives Syrians of their fundamental freedoms [3].

The complainants are considering the possibility of lodging an urgent motion with the European Court of Human Rights.

In Syria itself, the electoral campaign continues despite the terrorist attacks by the Contras, the most recent of which took place in Deraa on Thursday when 22 civilians taking part in a rally were killed.

National television broadcasts campaign clips of the three candidates, giving them equal air time. However, cities are overwhelmingly plastered with posters of Bashar al-Assad, as a symbol of collective resistance to foreign aggression.

The 11 member states remaining in the "Friends of Syria" are opposed to the Syrian people choosing their president themselves and continue to insist that it is up to the major powers to designate a "transitional body" excluding Bashar al-Assad, they label as an "Alawite dictator." Both France and Germany have banned Syrians residing on their territory from participating in this "electoral farce."

[1France prevents Syrian expatriates from electing their president ”, Voltaire Network, 14 May 2014.

[2"La France coupable d’interdire l’élection présidentielle syrienne", by Damien Viguier, Réseau Voltaire, 18 May 2014.

[3"Convention de Vienne sur les relations consulaires", Réseau Voltaire, 24 April 1963.